Candelas explains that most people avoid being alone, but it's an increasingly common feature in our daily lives.
The word 'loneliness' has a negative connotation to it, but it doesn't have to be that way.
There's nothing more blissful than being able to be alone with yourself. While many prefer company, some prefer solitude and it's a beautiful thing. Society often looks down on a person who's 'lonely' but more so on women who are alone, especially given the age-old idea that women live fulfilled lives only with partners. Marriage and motherhood are often pinned as the pinnacle for women, discounting their personal achievements and life experiences. This toxic expectation can weigh heavily on women. Mexico-based artist Idalia Candelas is trying to highlight the power and beauty of women living alone. She has done a brilliant series of black and white illustrations that show women going about their daily lives in solitary bliss. Candelas titled the series "Postmodern Loneliness" and published them in a book titled A Solas, which translates to Alone, reported Mic.
Candelas uses pencil, ink, and watercolor for her sketches. Her illustrations show that women don't need companions to live a fulfilled life. "The theme of loneliness has been recurring in my drawings," she said. "Even though people try to avoid [it] [out of] fear, being in that situation is increasingly common in our society." Candelas is determined to show people that living alone can be so fulfilling. "I like to show women who exist in solitude but do not suffer," said Candelas. "They are not depressed or crying. Rather [they] are safe, exalting in the sense of enjoying the company of just herself."
One of the greatest joys of living alone is living by your own clock. There's absolutely no schedule on anything from eating meals to getting things done. If anything, it's an alternate reality one can choose to seek refuge in when compared to the noise that is everyday life. As seen from her illustrations, there is so much joy and solace in just lying in bed all by yourself or sipping coffee in your kitchen. Can Sundays get any better when you can stay indoors, read a book, and eat meals on your time? Or you could binge on the endless list of shows that you have put off, without a care in the world. Let's not discount the joy of being naked in your home as you please.
For Candelas, her go-to is to read books, listen to music, and chill. "Alone, you can enjoy your time as you wish, reading or listening to music," she writes. In a poignant post, Candelas writes, "Dear woman, true empowerment is found when we understand that we have power over ourselves." Research published by the Journal of Population Research in 2019 showed that living alone can be fulfilling and fun, reported Psychology Today. "Drawing from Canadian surveys conducted between 1996 and 2010, [Jianye Liu and his colleagues] focused on 6,675 people who were living alone when they were first contacted, and then followed up on their living situation for each of the next six years," wrote social psychologist Bella DePaulo. "The people more likely to continue living alone over the entire six-year period were the women. It was as if once they got a taste of a place of their own, they found that they really liked it. They no longer wanted to find someone to live with, if they ever did."
DePaulo pointed out that research by Birk Hagemeyer found that women enjoy spending time alone more than men do. "In a series of studies, they have asked participants about enjoying alone time as well as trying to avoid it. In a diary study in which participants reported their experiences every day for two weeks, people indicated whether they had gotten enough time for themselves," DePaulo explained. "In every study in which there was a significant difference between the men and the women, it was the women who appreciated their time alone more. They were more likely to enjoy being alone and less likely to try to avoid it. In the daily diary study, it was again the women who were more likely to say that they had not gotten as much time to themselves as they would have liked."
Cover image source: Instagram/idaliacandelas